I’m Here, I’m Listening

Spoken word poet Amena Brown responds to the question, “How do you know when you’re hearing from God?”

She said, “How do you know when you are hearing from God?”  
I didn’t know how to explain … 
My words never felt so small, so useless, so incapable  

I wanted to say  
Put your hand in the middle of your chest 
Feel the rhythm there 
I wanted to say you will find the holy text in so many places 
On crinkly pages of scripture 
In dusty hymnals 
In the creases of a grandmother’s smile 

God’s ears are here for the babies 
For the immigrant, for the refugee 
For the depressed, for the lonely 
For the dreamers 
The widow, the orphan 
The oppressed and the helpless 
Those about to make a mess or caught in the middle of cleaning one up 
Dirt don’t scare God’s ears 
God is a gardener 
God knows things can’t grow without sun, rain, and soil … 

I want to tell her God is always waiting  
Lingering after the doors close  
And the phone doesn’t ring  
And we are finally alone  
God is always saying  
I love you  
I am here  
Don’t go, stay  

I try to explain how God is pleading with us  
To trust  
To love  
To listen  
That God’s voice is melody and bass lines and whisper and thunder and grace  

Sometimes when I pray, I think of her  
How the voice of God was lingering in her very question  
How so many of us just like her  
Just like me  
Just like you  
Are still searching  
Still questioning, still doubting  
I know I don’t have all the answers  
I know I never will  
That sometimes the best thing we can do is put our hands in the middle of our chest  
Feel the rhythm there  
Turn down the noise in our minds, in our lives  
And whisper,  
Whatever you want to say  
I’m here  
I’m listening 

Amena Brown, “She said, ‘How do you know when you are hearing from God?’,” in A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal

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